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Michigan Attorney General Won't Investigate Eagle Elementary Sale

A letter from chief legal counsel Richard Bandstra notes insufficient evidence exists to impanel a grand jury to look into the Farmington Public Schools building sale.

The Michigan Attorney General's office will not call a grand jury to investigate allegations of corruption in Farmington Public Schools' 2011 sale of the former Eagle Elementary School to the Islamic Cultural Association.

In a letter to the Thomas More Law Center, provided to Farmington-Farmington Hills Patch by the district, chief legal counsel Richard Bandstra wrote that "insufficient evidence of a crime exists to petition for the empanelment of a grand jury". Bandstra added that Michigan law allows direct petitions to "the appropriate court" for a grand jury hearing. 

In June of 2012, the Thomas More Law Center submitted a 6-page letter and other documents on behalf of residents in West Bloomfield, Farmington and Farmington Hills, according to the law center site. Allegations included bribery, acceptance of illegal campaign contributions, circumvention of the Open Meetings Act, a rigged property evaluation and more against "some members of the Farmington Public School Board."

Bandstra wrote that investigators "thoroughly reviewed" all of the documents, as well as the chain of court rulings in the case. 

School officials have repeatedly and vehemently denied all of the allegations and affirmed the actions they took in the building sale. 

Residents Eugene Greenstein and Melvyn Sternfeld took the district to court over the sale, and in February, the Michigan Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal of a lower court ruling that district residents Eugene Greenstein and Melvyn Sternfeld had no standing to sue. Three weeks after the Supreme Court ruling, the district collected the $1.1 million in proceeds from the sale. 

Over the past few months, rumors have swirled regarding the possible re-sale of the building, but Islamic Cultural Association officials told the Farmington Observer in March that they do not plan to put the building back on the market. 

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